Else, you will never be forgotten. Your smile, your serenity, the twinkle in your eyes, your love of your family, your love of sharing something that you had read and your beautiful energy are so easily recalled and will travel with me always. Thank you and may your soul at peace surround us all.
In loving memory of Elsie Edith DUCKWORTH who sadly passed away quietly on Tuesday 23 June.
Beloved wife of Maxwell (dec).
Mother of Geoff, Teegan and Neale.
Grandmother of Clifford, Trenna, Ralph and Ryle.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Helen Crichton lit a candle
Kristin Duckworth lit a candle
John Bailey wrote
In Kiewa Crescent we will miss Elsie; her kind smile, gentle greetings and warm conversations. Elsie, I'll always remember the many times we used to stop and chat returning from morning swims. Our thoughts are with you, John and Trish.
Marilyn Loth wrote
To have known Else was to have known a little piece of heaven. Always the serenity that she inspired, the joyous smile and embracing conversation that was given made the day a little brighter. She was like a warm hug on a winters day. Your presence will be missed sorely dear Else, but the joy and laughter, the fun times and the wise council will be your legacy. These times I am always reminded of the poem ‘The Dash’ and your ‘dash’ Else was indeed well lived.
Trish Cross wrote
Our street in Mt. Beauty was very fortunate to have you as a neighbour. In fact, Mt Beauty was fortunate to have you as a resident. Am sure the bakery staff and the regulars there making your daily coffee will miss you cheery presence. John and I will miss your wonderful chats and your incredible memory of every chat we had. You were also the best dressed nonagenarian in town.
We were so lucky to have known you.
Ryle Duckworth lit a candle
Emily Jo wrote
Dearest Elsie, one of these rare souls who’s very presence set you at ease. From sharing a secret giggle at a Christmas lunch, a knowing smile or the sidewalk with her great grandson. If only we could all be a little more Elsie. Such a true testament to the gift in loving attention, patience, kindness, gentle acceptance and admiringly no matter what obstacle arose she meet it with upmost grace and grit.
I too will be gazing up at the sky, the sparkle in you suspended in the galaxy. You’re with your beloved now, I am grateful for this.
Emily, Theodore & Felix (some of your biggest fans) x x
Greg & Ellen Elmer wrote
Dear Geoff, Teegan Neale and families,
I was very saddened to hear your mum had passed away. It has been many rears since I last saw Auntie Else but through my mum I had kept in touch with what she had been doing. I have fond memories of her in Rosanna. She was always very welcoming and didn't fuss. I remember coming over for early morning tennis lessons when I was 10 or 11. Auntie Else was always very helpful and encouraging when I was playing tennis in my teens. I was glad she was able to keep playing and enjoying tennis for so long. I remember my first experience of eating spaghetti when your mum cooked spaghetti bolognaise one night. It was very exotic for me then.
Our thoughts are with you all
Greg and Ellen
Sue Sharp wrote
I have lovely memories of Aunty Elsie. She was always bright and bubbly. Mum and I always enjoyed many a trip to Northland on our shopping sprees. Then when Uncle Max and Aunty Else
moved to Queensland we continued the shopping trips at Maroochydore when we had our holidays up at Caloundra. We always had lunch with coffee of course.
Now I would like to pass on how sad Mum is. I saw her today and she wanted to pass her love to the family. We had always planned to get up to see Aunty Elsie but unfortunately it wasn't to be. It was difficult because Mum's health not been great.
Thankyou Teegan for bringing Mum down to visit us at Whittlesea. We will always remember the nice day we had together.
Lots of Love to you all
Gwen, Sue, Damian and family.
Carrick Martin wrote
I have wonderful memories of my Aunt Elsie. The large Duckworth family had frequent gettogethers , when all would share delicious food and there was much good humour. We youngsters were always included in the fun. There were some 23 of us cousins, so we could always count on someone to play with. We particularly looked forward to visits to Uncle Max and Aunt Elsie, who were both excellent tennis players and had their own court. Vigorous tennis followed. Aunt Elsie was always very kind and loving to all of us. She lived a great life.
Jillian Lee wrote
Memories of Aunty Else from niece Jillian
In the early 1980's Aunty Else was one of my Fab 4 aunts in Melbourne I could escape to from the lonely Royal Melbourne Hospital Nurse's home. "We'd love to see you, come on over" was always the reply from either Aunty Marj, Gwen, Barb or Else. Arriving in Rosanna I would find Uncle Max watering the garden with his ever freezing hands and Auntie Else cheerily calling out "up here!" Conversations were always lively, engaging and debated.
Aunty Else was the Masterchef of slice baking and Aunty Gwen was the Cupcake Queen. Her slice toppings were always fancy- jelly, marshmallow, caramel or peppermint. She thought they were easy to make, I thought they were fiddly. If weather permitted there was time for a quick hit of tennis. Confronted by their slice, top spin, lob, smash and drop shot it was time to retire due to "poor light".
After dinner, sitting by the fireside and snacking on sliced apple, Aunty Else would either be avidly reading from her stack of books or knitting. Uncle Max would also be reading or enjoying his records- the bagpipes, Greek goddess Nana Mouskouri or the yodelling! Aunty Else and Uncle Max very kindly hosted my 21 st birthday as Mum and Dad by then, lived in Queensland. This was before the times of twitter, Facebook and unexpected gate crashers.
A strong heart and a desire to keep connected and living is how Aunty Else reached 97 years. I will always remember her smile, warmth and affection and her hospitality. The tennis score you ask? Love, set and match- and time for a cuppa with Max.
Jillian Lee - niece
Cliff Duckworth wrote
I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge Nana Beaches loving attention as a great grandmother. I know that the boys (Theodore and Felix) will miss you greatly and were always so excited to see a letter in the post from Nana Beach with a book in it to be read that night. I should say at the same time that my own love of reading was definitely inspired by you and it is a gift. I am incredibly grateful that you were here to see photos of your great grand daughter Dahlia and to speak with Sammy, her and myself on the day of her birth. Although this was the last opportunity we had to speak I am so glad you got to speak with Dahlia and I will be extremely proud to recount tales of you to them all. We love you lots Cliff, Dahlia, Felix, Sammy and Theo, I am certain Em is sending her love also.
On a side note I would like to acknowledge Teegan’s efforts and care for Nana Beach over the past many years. It was always incredibly reassuring to come visit Mount Beauty and see the selfless love, care and attention you provided her. You had a very special friendship and I know Nana appreciated it beyond words.
Geoff Duckworth wrote
Dear Mum, you touched everybody’s lives who met you in a truly positive way, you will always be treasured, remembered and loved, with enormous thanks for all that you gave me- your loving son Geoff.
Graeme Duckworth wrote
A Tribute to Elsie (Else ) from the other Duckworth Families.
It is with great sorrow that I write a few lines on behalf of the other Duckworth Families on the recent passing of Else.
Else became part of our Family when she married my brother Max in St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne in 1947.
I remember Else as the lovely young girl playing tennis in Ararat with my sister Joan and others during WW2.
There were many sing-alongs around the piano when Max and Bruce were home on leave.
We would drive out to the Grampians often, for picnics.
I remember going with Max and Else one time in her Father’s brown utility and while returning to Ararat we had to reverse all the way up Copes Hill because the petrol was not getting to the engine !.
When my Family returned to Melbourne in 1948, Else and Max had built a home in Rosanna, and after much hard work built a tennis court on their block.
They were playing tennis in the Heidelberg area and used their court as a home court.
Subsequently, we had many happy Family gatherings and tennis days at their home with their great hospitality.
Else and Max used to holiday in Queensland a lot, and eventually purchased a house in Peregian Beach, on the Sunshine Coast, where Pauline and I lived, so we continued with our happy times.
Else made many Friends there and enjoyed walking along the Beaches.
We were fortunate over the years, that our Family were never happier than when we were all together, and Else was always part of it.
We regret that we are unable to be with you today, and offer our Condolences to Geoff, Neale, Teegan and their Families, and Friends.
In Loving Memories
Graeme, Pauline, Gwen, Barbara and Families
Ralph Duckworth wrote
I just wanted to share a few words about Nana Beach and how she was extremely special to me, and to everyone. I suppose when you get older you realise how precious time is and Nana Beach gave us all the time that she had, growing up as kids and in school holidays… Whether it be playing cards with me and Cliff… while she absolutely hated playing card games, she would make time to play cards with us every night…. whether it was taking me to golf or walking around the Coolum Golf Course with me for days and days … whether it was to take me down to M Donalds for breakfast to spend some time together. Yes she was a really special person and is going to be deeply missed Love you very much Nana.
Clifford Duckworth wrote
It was her consistency really. She was always lovely.. everytime you met her. When you went to see her she was like that. She always had the same attitude. She was never grumpy or upset or when she was down, she would never let it get the best of her. And she would just sort of talk about it and move on with it.
And she was incredibly open-minded for her age. She had a really lovely perspective of the world and people and individuals that I always related to.
She had infinite patience for myself and for Ralphy. Like she would take us and play golf at the park and smash golf balls into the park. She would take us to the beach or she would walk us to the shops or we would go on long walks together and take us to the pool. We used to drive her mad because we would go and jump on the spare bedroom bed- queen bed-and we would be wrestling and we would do it every ad break. And she would always come out and ask us why the TV was still on. And we would say because the ads are on and the wrestling’s in ads and it would absolutely drive her nuts because we would be wrestling on the bed and the TV would be on. But then we would go back out and watch it.
One of the memories that I think I always liked about her was when she had heart surgery and she was in the hospital in Brisbane here near Dad’s work …and she had open heart surgery I think from memory as I remember.. and there was lke a 38 year old man in the bed next to her grumbling and complaining about the pain and the misery of it and how much it all hurt and and being generally not a kind soul to the people around him and not being particularly gracious. And there was Nana in her 80s at the point and she was just cool and calm and collected and just grateful for her visitors. And just very positive …and all the nurses couldn’t wait to come and see her and talk with her. And one of the nurses even said Why can’t everyone be like you Elsie? And that really caught her essence.
Helen Duckworth wrote
Remembering Else , an amazing Mother-In- Law and unforgettable Grandmother and Great Grandmother
Lives are touched and blessed in many ways. And our family life was immeasurably happier, better and easier because Else was always there for us in the moment when needed - gently, quietly, humbly , cheerfully and authentically.
For me Else was the Robin and birdsong in the woods and the babbling brook on a dappled sunshine day.
Her welcoming smile always brought light and optimism to my day… from the time she first greeted me at the airport in Melbourne in January 1979 right up to my seeing her in a photo less than a month ago when she was sitting up in her bed in Mt Beauty Hospital beaming brightly.
Else never let life take her down and sat with it peacefully and acceptingly. And lifted all our spirits as she did.
She had no agenda. What you saw is what you got. Fortunately that spirit and honesty lives on in each of her children. I know, as I have spent forty-two years of my life in the rock safe presence of Else’s first-born son, Geoff.
Accepting, open-minded and non-judgemental, Else allowed all of us to be and bring what we were. And she always brought us some light-hearted fun and cheer along the way. She never gave up her own values and opinions but never expected others to wear her viewpoint either. She quietly knew her limits and knew how to call them when they were stretched and always did so without offence.
Else walked her talk and I learned from her all I ever needed to know about gardening, grandparenting and …speaking your truth kindly.
Gardening never had its same appeal for me after Else’s health declined. Else had kept a beautiful garden in Rosanna and her hands on knowledge was invaluable. Her companionship in the garden had been so uplifting, as she shared in my plans and assisted me with what I needed to get done. There I would be, tearing around this direction and that, moving this and that, but Else was always just mindfully and patiently there. I could always rely on returning to find her patch of the garden perfectly transformed. The truth is there is weeding and weeding. And where Else worked, the earth was never ripped and torn apart… it was revived and breathed again.
As did her grandchildren in the presence. An amazingly dedicated and energetic grandmother, it was always reassuring to know that Clifford and Ralph would return from their school holidays with Nana Beach looking like cherubs. Else would get up bright and early with the birds to get done what was essential and then give herself totally to just being and playing with them in the moment.
A Veteran’s tennis champion and A grade tennis player into her 70’s, it didn’t take much from what I had shared of Else’s life to see that she had that special focus, edge and endurance that today makes for champions. But times were different then. And so we her family were the lucky winners. And so I say Thank you Else for being the amazing Mother-In- Law and unforgettable Grandmother and Great Grandmother that you were. You made our hearts sing.
If it’s true that we can look up there at the stars to find you, I will be looking for the twinkling diamond.
Teegan Duckworth wrote
Mum, you are my best friend and I'm so privileged to have had the time I spent with you.
We shared the good times, the bad times, the funny, happy and sad times, and I will miss you more than words can say, but I will carry so many wonderful memories of you through the rest of my life.
Rest in peace.
All my love,